SUGAR CITY – A Sugar City mom of three recently received national fame for losing more than 100 pounds during the past 18 months.

Woman’s World Magazine featured Melissa Voss on the cover of its January 17 through January 21 issue. It detailed the story of her exceptional 106-pound weight loss.

Magazine officials learned Voss’ story after reading her Instagram posting telling of her efforts. They contacted her in November, and the following month, Voss attended a photoshoot for the magazine.

“They actually found someone in Idaho Falls and asked him if he would take pictures for them. He found a hair and makeup person, and then he did the pictures,” she said.

Voss felt like a queen for the day.

“It was pretty awesome. He did a really good job,” she said.

The photoshoot took place at a home the photographer found. During the shoot, Voss wore her everyday clothes.

“We did the photoshoot in this gorgeous house. They wanted pictures in the kitchen – that kind of thing. It was pretty neat,” she said.

Prior to the photoshoot, Voss researched the magazine and confirmed that those contacting her were who they said they were, and that the shutterbug really was a professional photographer.

“I wanted to make sure that who I was actually talking to was a part of it,” she said. “When I was going to do the photoshoot, my husband, John, was a little nervous about it and kept texting me to make sure they hadn’t sold me into sex trafficking,” she joked.

Everything worked out as magazine officials promised, and, as a result, Melissa Voss is on the cover of Woman’s World.

Voss started her weight loss journey about 18 months ago when she grew increasingly concerned about her health and weight.

“My health was falling apart, and I worried I wouldn’t be around to raise my kids,” she told the magazine.

At 5’4” and 249 pounds, Voss found herself tiring easily.

“My health was pretty bad. I was getting kind of scared,” she said. “I couldn’t move very well. I felt like an 80-year-old lady.”

Voss reported suffering from insulin resistance, sleep apnea, hypothyroid and a nervous system disorder called “dysautonomia.” Her weight loss apparently helped cure many of her health problems, she said.

“My sleep apnea is gone. My insulin resistance is gone. The other two are better controlled,” Voss said.

Voss started her weight loss program for moms via a trainer on Facebook.

“I kind of just figured, ‘What the heck,’” she said. “I got on there and did the challenge for five days and lost seven pounds.”

Voss later signed up for the Facebook trainer’s 12-week program that involved exercise and dieting.

“They were mostly 45 minute all home workouts when I started,” she said. “I lost 42 pounds in those 12 weeks and lost over 40 inches.”

Voss said the weight loss wasn’t so much a result of dieting but rather a result of cutting out sweets. She also stopped drinking milk and switched to Almond Milk. Voss also worked out five times a week with three of those days as strength workouts while the other two, she focused on cardio.

Last May, Voss started working out at Bodify where she lost another 43 pounds following eight months of continuous workouts.

“I took me 16 months to hit a 100-pound weight loss,” she said.

Voss says that she usually eats a small carb for meals.

“(I) watch my portions with mindful eating and having learned portion sizes,” she said.

Voss reports that she spent years ignoring her weight. At one point she gained 55 pounds, and then had a wakeup call in 2003 after receiving an insulin resistance diagnosis. She started a diet and workout program where she lost 45 pounds. She later attended Licensed Practical Nursing classes, and, in the process, put on a lot of weight.

“I quit working out and quit dieting because I was busy. I didn’t take care of myself because of it. After having three kids, it just all added up,” she said.

In 2017, Voss went to work to lose weight. When she started her weight loss program, she wore a size 22.

“I’m actually smaller now than I was in high school,” Voss said. “I now wear a size six. In high school, I wore a size nine.”

Voss is thrilled beyond words that she lost the weight, and her husband is also quite pleased at his slim and trim wife.

“He thinks it’s awesome. He’s pretty proud of me. He keeps thinking he wants to start working out,” she said.

Today, Melissa Voss relies on the internet-based Beach Body program to stay in shape. She also wants to help others who are trying to lose weight.

“I’ve started coaching for Beach Body and started coaching for them about a month ago. It gives me resources where I can actually help other people,” she said.

Voss says that weight loss starts at home.

“Weight loss comes from the kitchen - meaning you can lose weight by eating more healthy and finding the right nutrition program,” she said. “The right kind of exercise helps decide which kind of weight you lose. You can’t eat wrong and exercise and expect to lose weight.”

In the meantime, Voss is thrilled to receive such positive national feedback on her diet. Her kids each have a copy of the magazine.

“I might frame it and put it out for everybody to see,” she said.

For more information on Women’s World Magazine, visit https://www.womansworld.com